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Q&A: Pete Benson (Hayden`s chief mechanic).

Benson's world championship experience began in 1994 as Niall MacKenzie's mechanic at Yamaha, before making the jump to Superbikes with Honda.

The 45-year-old New Zealander spent two years working with Aaron Slight and returned with Honda to grand prix in 1998 as Tady Okada's mechanic at Repsol Honda.

At HRC's factory team Benson had the opportunity of working with Doohan for a few races, and in 2001 became part of Tohru Ukawa's team of mechanics.

In 2002 and 2003 Benson was part of Rossi's MotoGP World Championship winning team, then worked with the Italian's successor, Alex Barros, after Rossi joined Yamaha for 2004.

From 2005 onwards Benson has been chief mechanic for Nicky Hayden, with whom he won the world championship in 2006, before experiencing a tough title defence during 2007...

Out of all the riders you have worked with, who has impressed you the most and why?

Pete Benson:
Valentino Rossi and Mick Doohan. I didn't work many races with Doohan, but they are both incredible riders. Valentino has a good ability to understand the technical aspects of the bike, and is very focused on what he wants and needs. What's more, their skills when they have to ride really fast set them apart from the competition. They can ride and try things out, but when they need to, they are capable of riding very fast. They are both brilliant.

How would you describe Nicky Hayden?

Pete Benson:
He's a very focused person and easy to work with, and that has helped a lot over the last four years. That makes the job a lot easier. He never complains at anyone if something won't work.

What aspect do you think he could improve upon?

Pete Benson:
He maybe needs to be more consistent in the training sessions, which would help. Though he always does better in the races; he's a fighter.

Last year was a tough season for the 2006 world champion. Three third positions were his best results on the new Honda RC212V. How do you motivate a rider who has won a world title and then the following year suffers with a bike he is not comfortable with?

Pete Benson:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden, Qatar MotoGP 2008
Cal Crutchlow with new Honda fairing at Assen.
Hayden`s number on Miller’s glove, Catalunya MotoGP Race 2017
Repsol honda mechanic, Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Rabat, Pol Espargaro, Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Rabat, Pol Espargaro, Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Marquez braking, Smith Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Brembo brake on Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Brake on Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Smith, Pedrosa Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Nakagami, Idemitsu Honda Moto2 bike, Catalunya Moto2 2017
Darryn Binder wearing a Hayden rep, Italian Moto3 Race 2017
Crowds, flags, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Smith with Hayden`s number on his fairing, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017

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Jack Mordino

May 01, 2008 7:35 PM

Although he didn''t say anything we didn''t know already at least to a certain degree, he certainly put credit to some things we could only speculate upon. It''s nice to see such interviews from people from the inside. It offers good insight. We want more of this

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